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Liberty Research Annex: Guidelines for Faculty, Employees, and Collaborators


This document provides guidelines for Taubman College Faculty and their temporary and student employees and collaborators working in the Liberty Research Annex (LRA). Non-faculty individuals may be working in one of several capacities:

  1. As a student design or research assistant to faculty working on faculty projects being undertaken at the LRA
  2. As an employee of Taubman College working as part of the team maintaining and operating the space
  3. As a collaborator working in partnership with one of the faculty teams

The Liberty Research Annex (305 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, 48103) is an off-campus facility currently leased by the College. It is primarily used for faculty office space, faculty research projects, faculty creative practice production. These activities are situated towards the south end of the building, and they occupy most of the 18,300SF area. At the north end of the building, and separated from the faculty workspace by a wall, is the 3,800SF Liberty Gallery that can be opened to the public as needed. The gallery is used for Taubman College exhibitions and events, and intermittently as temporary production and construction of projects requiring large open spaces for limited periods of time. The LRA is not designated as a teaching space and is not used to deliver curricula. The LRA has MWireless.

We ask that faculty, employees, and collaborators observe the following practices and caveats when at the LRA.

1.0 Faculty Workspaces

Faculty members who have been assigned office space in the LRA building collectively manage the use and apportionment of the adjacent workspaces located along the middle of the building. These shared areas are not permanently assigned, and can fluctuate in response to faculty needs, requests, the demands of funded projects, and the nature of work to be undertaken.

Students/employees assisting with faculty projects should work only in the areas that the faculty member designates. Each faculty team has its own complement of computer and printer equipment, tools, working tables, books, and studio furniture; please confirm with your project faculty which equipment and tools are available for use. Do not use or borrow items from other faculty work areas without asking. Noise should be kept to a minimum. No toxic materials or equipment that create dust or fumes are allowed; such activities can be undertaken at appropriate University of Michigan facilities, such as the FabLab or the Workshop and spray booth facilities on North Campus. Any damage to the building, walls, or floors should be reported immediately to the project faculty member.

Please be specifically mindful to use the furniture provided in office and collective areas in a manner that prolongs its use and appearance. No cutting or use of paint or adhesives on the meeting tables please!

The Liberty Gallery is occasionally programmed with exhibitions and public events. At these times, it is open to the public. In these cases, it is staffed by students or a private security contractor who monitors the north pedestrian door and visitor access. To request use of the gallery space for a specific project (if there is no active exhibition), please have the faculty member in charge send a written (email) request to the ADR+CP with start and end dates of the work. A calendar entitled, “LRA: Liberty Gallery,” is used for reserving this space, and is shared with all LRA faculty and key staff at the College to coordinate these activities.

3.0 Doors and Security

The west door (from the parking lot) should be used as the primary entrance and exit for the building. It is generally unlocked during business hours (9am–6pm, Monday–Friday), provided there are faculty or assistants present in the adjacent office space that have a view of the door (for security reasons). Outside of these hours, the building is locked, and will require an access fob to open it. Student and temporary employees working with faculty teams can request an access fob for the building via an email request to Facilities (Andy Christenson chrandy@umich.edu), along with a $20 deposit that will be refunded when the fob is returned. The fob will only open the west door.

The building is alarmed overnight and requires all doors to be kept closed. Doors should not be blocked open but should be closed completely behind you. Security for people, equipment and projects is reliant upon vigilant closing of the doors. During the warmer months, the heat causes the window/door frames to expand, and door closers may not operate as per usual, so extra care should be taken to ensure all doors are properly locked when you leave. If employees are working outside of regular business hours on a faculty project, they should be aware of their surroundings, and whether others remain in the building, ensuring to work safely and courteously to all present. It is advised that work outside of regular business hours be done with others still present in the building, particularly in the event that a situation arises causing a safety concern.

4.0 Loading and Unloading Materials

Small items can be brought in through the west entrance, larger items should be brought through the southeast double access doors, and very large items can be brought through the north overhead door. The manual chain of the overhead door should be used to raise and lower the door, as there have been safety issues with the mechanical lift in the past (the operator has been disabled as a result). For shipping and receiving of faculty projects, faculty members should provide instructions as to how and where materials should enter or exit the building. If you have a delivery, you must be at the building to receive it – there is no guarantee that other faculty will be there on any given day or time.

5.0 Parking

The west parking lot is available for use when working in the building.

6.0 Waste and Recycling

Grey waste receptacles are located throughout the building for small items of landfill waste. Blue recycling containers are similarly distributed for paper and other small items to be recycled. Food waste should be disposed of in the garbage cans located near the kitchenette. Facilities comes to take garbage away only once a week (or directly after events) and we do not want smelly food waste in the workspaces or meeting areas. Large recyclable items should be thrown directly into the large recycling bins adjacent outside the southeast exit. If you have other large non-recyclable items to dispose of, please contact facilities.

7.0 Washrooms

Washrooms are located at the south end of the building. Do not wash tools or the like in the washroom sinks. These washrooms are cleaned once a week, so we expect everyone to use the facilities with care and to maintain their cleanliness through appropriate use.

8.0 Kitchenette

There is a modest kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator at the south end of the space. People working in the LRA are welcome to make use of these facilities. Faculty and their employees have furnished their own cutlery and plates over time, so please make sure that all items are returned and washed if used; there is no dishwashing service at the LRA. Respect for other co-workers at the LRA is expected, and shared spaces should be kept tidy, hygienic and pleasant for all to use. Do not wash tools or the like in the kitchen sink. Please keep the refrigerator clean by regularly clearing out old food items and wiping up any spills/mess.

9.0 Common Furniture and Meeting Spaces

Everyone is expected to keep the shared meeting spaces looking respectable and ready for meetings. Eight (8) 3’x7’ tables (with brown tops and white bases) are located in the shared meeting spaces. The grey and green upholstered chairs are available for use within the shared meeting spaces, and for faculty team use. The black plastic chairs are flexible and also available for team use. When a meeting is complete, please ensure all materials and belongings are removed. Do not undertake any production activity, such as cutting, model building or painting in these shared meeting spaces. Clean up all spills. This furniture is intended to last for many years and there is not a consistent budget for cleaning or replacement. A calendar entitled, “LRA: Conference Space(s),” is available for scheduling conference space, and LRA faculty have access to book these spaces directly. Students and/or temporary hires should request that their project faculty book these spaces for team meetings if necessary.

The LRA currently has two shared media carts one 55” Samsung cart and one 46” Sharp (Cart #5). Other media carts belong to individual faculty research groups. Please do not use them without permission.

10.0 Tools and Equipment

Everyone who works in the LRA provides their own tools, equipment, and supplies. Please do not use or borrow anything in a faculty member’s workspace without asking. Shared equipment includes brooms, mops, and ladders, typically located in the southeast corner (near the electrical breakers). Make sure to return these items to this space after each use. In this area, there is also a utility sink that can be used for cleaning work items. Care should be given as to what is drained down the sink, and all materials should be removed after each use.

11.0 Hazardous Waste, E-waste, and Equipment Waste

Paint or other hazardous liquids to dispose of should be placed near the southeast exit with a note indicating that they are to be removed. This also applies to batteries (please place in a container) and any electronic equipment to discard. The facilities team will remove these items once per week.

12.0 High Working Access

Both a scaffold and a 20’-0” JLG hydraulic lift are available for work required at height. The lift can only be operated by those who have been specifically trained to do so; Facilities staff are authorized to run it. Consult with the project faculty to make arrangements if the project requires use of the lift.

If a problem is detected at the LRA (such as a roof leak, broken glass, a break-in, or other problem related to the base building), please advise the project faculty to contact the Facilities directly (Andy Christenson, Cell: 248-974-7316).

14.0 Emergencies and Behaviors of Concern

If there is an emergency situation at the LRA that requires assistance, please call 911 immediately. If there are any concerns about members of the public behaving in a threatening or suspicious manner, report the incident to the University’s Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS), as with similar types of incidents on the U-M Campus.

The Liberty Research Annex is a unique facility and the faculty members who work there are extremely grateful for its provision. The space makes it possible for many amazing projects to happen at Taubman College. Please help to ensure the LRA continues to be a great place to work on exciting projects.

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